Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Frankfort faltering on ObamaCare navigator program

The ObamaCare state "exchange" web site created to make health insurance buying easier is also required to come with an army of people called navigators whose function it is to walk people through the newly created maze. Kentucky, by multiple accounts, is falling way behind in the creation of it's navigator program and I think I know why.

Beshear administration officials have been telling worried exchange employees that no new funds will be appropriated to operate the exchange and so the lawsuit to stop the exchange is baseless. While this misses the point that Beshear also violated the Constitution by creating an exchange in which he reorganizes government and spends unappropriated funds in addition to raising new taxes, it paints Beshear into corner in which he will either have to admit to the new taxes or claim he is going to pull money from another source to fund his ObamaCare scheme.

Federal law states he must make clear which way he is going.

So the statute requires an exchange to be "self-sustaining" and allows funds for its operations to come from either "assessments or user fees" which would be unconstitutional or from other sources, which would just be politically difficult. Exchange Executive Director Carrie Banahan has claimed both that illegal fees and existing funds will be used.

Administration officials are counting on this "gray area" in the funding source issue to keep the legal struggle in Adams v. Beshear quiet.

One little problem with that.

The law also requires exchanges to have a "navigator" program. And the navigator program must be funded directly by operational funds, which means revenue derived from business activity of the exchange. And that can't legally be collected or spent under Kentucky law.

So maybe Governor Beshear wants to claim the federal law allows him to pull money for the exchange from other parts of government to avoid creating a new tax. That's fine, but if even that works (and that's a big if) it all falls apart in the creation of a funding mechanism for the required navigator program.

Any questions?